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A studio sun system with light-artist Arnout Meijer

Like many studios, we’re based in the city. Located in a courtyard within a housing block, our space doesn’t get much direct sunlight in winter. Using this problem as a tool in our research into interactive space, we started to think about how we could connect our physical space to the outdoors in order to bring our workspace back to life during these winter months.

How can a space connect with its surroundings? Can we use technology to craft something organic? How can we work with light as a material? With these questions in mind, we set out to build a lighting system that emulates the movement of the sun and the ever-evolving states of natural light that we were missing out on.

Collaborating with light artist Arnout Meijer, the ambient system we created mimics the behaviour of the sun travelling overhead in our studio. Light, of course, is anything but static: we observed its movement, intensity and colour temperature to mirror the changes that occur outside and subtly interact with the natural light of the studio. Each day in our workspace will be dynamic, interspersed with little moments of difference and change as the light outside shifts, revitalising the space with the energy of the sun.

This is just the beginning of how our studio can come to life. The dynamic system we created allows us to control each LED light pixel individually, and the next step is to add sound to our space. Our studio is becoming the playground we use to think about how technology can build a bridge between humans and nature, with the aim of creating interactive spaces that feel alive and behave in their own way.

A programmable space like this creates a dialogue with the people that occupy it. Rather than isolating us from the physical world, it infuses real spaces with tech to make us aware of our surroundings.

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